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5 Teens Crowned as Champions in MAGGI® Nationwide Cooking Competition

Only 5 among approximately 1,000 students from 350 schools in Malaysia emerged as winners in the MAGGI® Secondary School Cooking Competition 2021

by Shah Farouq

MAGGI® Secondary School Cooking Competition 2021 (MSSCC 2021) was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Malaysia, returned this year with the theme “Anda & MAGGI, Sajikan Kelainan Untuk Inspirasi Harian” (You & MAGGI, Serving Different Dishes for Daily Inspiration), set to discover and nurture outstanding culinary talent amongst the youth in Malaysia.

Approximately 1,000 aspiring young students, aged between 13 to 15 years old from 350 schools across the nation displayed not just their extraordinary cooking talent, but also to make the right nutritional choices with the ‘Pinggan Sihat Malaysia’ or ‘Suku-Suku Separuh’ (Malaysian Healthy Plate / Quarter-Quarter Half) concepts towards building healthier eating habits.

The MSSCC 2021 marks MAGGI®’s 25th year of collaboration with the Ministry of Education Malaysia, serving as a nurturing platform for the younger generation to cultivate culinary and life skills, knowledge and self-efficacy which are critical towards confidence building and character development in their lives.

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Business Executive Officer of MAGGI®, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, Geetha Balakrishna.

“Catering to the new reality post COVID-19 pandemic, we moved the competition from on ground activation to a fully virtual platform for the first time this year, enabling all students to participate without compromising on health and safety.” according to Business Executive Officer of MAGGI®, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, Geetha Balakrishna.

“As many school children are still staying home due to the pandemic, this is the opportune time for them to cultivate their cooking skills. This competition continues to serve as a platform for these young talents to showcase their hidden talents as well as a knowledge sharing opportunity through various educational modules by industry experts.,” she added.

Participants were required to submit their recipes in a video format and were judged based on the creative use of ingredients, cooking skills, presentation, and culinary inspiration. Four brand-new online learning modules via Google Classroom were also introduced through a collaboration with celebrity Chefs and cooking personalities to support the continuation of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four learning modules consists of:

– ‘Healthy and Balanced Cooking’ with MAGGI® Chef, Chef Sharifah Hamidah and Nestlé Nutritionist Mrs. Ven Luan;

– ‘Learning Food Safety and Hygiene’ with MAGGI® Chef, Chef Muluk;

– ‘Professional Food Styling Tips’ with celebrity chef and TV host, Chef Sherson Lian; and

– ‘Building your Self-confidence’ with Brand Ambassador for MAGGI® CukupRasa, Datin Paduka Eina Azman.

From a total of 16 winners representing 13 states and 3 federal territories, five national winners were eventually selected as champions, comprising of:

– Rafidah Fitri Binti Hamidzol, 15, from SMK Syed Alwi, Perlis;

– Muhammad Faaris Salihin Bin Mohd Firdaus, 13, from Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah, Putrajaya;

– Nursyafiqah Binti Mohd Azmi, 14, from SMK Intan Perdana, Negeri Sembilan;

– Yap Mei Wei, 13, from SMJK Katholik, Selangor; and

– Jaymee Ong Miin Li, 15, from SMJK Heng Ee, Pulau Pinang.

According to Rafidah Fitri Binti Hamidzol, the Grand Winner of MAGGI® Secondary School Cooking Competition 2021 that her grandmother’s cooking was the inspiration for her dish.

“My grandmother’s cooking was the inspiration for my Mixed Herb Rice and Tilapia Wrap Satay (Nasi Ulam & Sate Lilit Ikan Tilapia) recipes.

“Among the ingredients that I used were herbs and vegetables that I grow around my home. With this recipe, I hope to reintroduce healthy, nutritious traditional cuisine especially to young Malaysians,” she explained.

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First runner-up Muhammad Faaris Salihin Bin Mohd Firdaus

First runner-up Muhammad Faaris Salihin Bin Mohd Firdaus, who prepared a Shrimp with Padang Sauce (Udang Sos Padang), said he was inspired to take up cooking after his mother passed away.

“I took up the responsibility of preparing the meals for my father and siblings. I hope that my culinary efforts will bring a smile to their faces,” he added.

Other winning recipes include Nursyafiqah’s oil-free and nutritionally balanced Korean Egg Roll, Yap Mei Wei’s Rainbow Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng Pelangi) which utilises colourful ingredients depicting hope, joy and success, and Jaymee Ong’s Bird’s Nest (Sarang Burung) platter that symbolises the bond between families.

“We hope that these winners of the MAGGI® Secondary School Cooking Competition 2021 will become role models amongst their peers who are looking to take up balanced homemade cooking, just as their parents and teachers were role models to them.” said Geetha.

“It has been an inspirational journey for us at MAGGI® as we witnessed these amazing young cooks bring an abundance of energy, confidence, creativity and culinary skills to the table.

“With continuous support from the Ministry, schools, teachers, parents and the community, we are humbled that this competition continues to support many young Malaysians in developing their culinary talents and enriching their knowledge in making tasty and balanced meals,” she shared.

Get to know the 5 winners of the MAGGI® Secondary School Cooking Competition and their winning recipes on https://www.maggi.my/en/nurturing/MAGGI-cooking-competition-2021/

Featured Image: Rafidah Fitri Binti Hamidzol, the Grand Winner of MAGGI® Secondary School Cooking Competition 2021

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